Life is Inevitable

Daniel Santos
Independently Published (2022)
ISBN: 979-8986616216
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (08/2022)

“Life is Inevitable” is the debut teen/YA fantasy novel by new author, Daniel Santos. Gripping issues relevant to today’s society, such as suicide, bullying, abuse, and neglect, combines with paranormal fantastical elements to create a story that pulls you in from the first page and doesn’t let go. 

Eighteen-year-old Brennan and seventeen-year-old Olivia live across the country from one another, have contrasting personalities and lifestyles, and couldn’t be more different from each other. But they do have one thing in common—they both commit suicide on the same day. If the teens thought their troubles ended on the day of their deaths, they are in for a surprise. Instead, they wake up in a train station (purgatory), where they are to receive their tickets to either heaven or hell from one of the Angels on duty. God, however, in its great wisdom, decides Brennan and Olivia deserve a second chance and the angel Haniel gives them tickets back to their bodies. Unfortunately, in all the commotion, the tickets get mixed up and they wake up in each other’s bodies. Now, they have to figure how to undo their wrongs while living the other person’s life. Will Brennan and Olivia find their way to each other so they can switch back into their own bodies, or are they destined to spend their second chance at life as someone new?

I absolutely love the premise of this book. It’s highly distinctive, and even with the weighty subject matters, the story is told in a refreshing, new manner. I was invested from the start, eager to see how these kids were going to handle their respective challenges, and I wasn’t disappointed. The author paints clear, though often disturbing pictures inside the unfortunate realities one wouldn’t wish upon anyone. Through it all, however, there is a sense of hope and you can’t help but root for these teens on their journeys.

The characters are well-defined, and readers get a clear insight into their personalities and challenges. I felt like I was in the story and enjoyed watching them grow with every test presented to them. Complimenting the main characters are several instigators that readers will love to hate, though one of them has a change of heart and strives to become a better person.

As a debut novel, the writing presents a few opportunities for improvement, such as word choices, and the story overall would benefit from a thorough edit. That said, it will be exciting to see the author grow into his craft with his next novel.

Overall, I found “Life is Inevitable” to be an entertaining story and informative insight into the lives of troubled teens, or anyone facing the all to common serious issues of bullying and abuse and the rippling effect on society. Please note: this story may be triggering to some people.

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